From Lancaster to Dublin

Kelly Holland

Val is a junior at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania, studying Marketing and Management. Val is the recipient of the Jessica Burns scholarship and will be detailing her journey to Dublin. 

From a student who has never had an international experience before (other than a weekend trip to Canada) I am extremely excited for my internship in Dublin this Summer, but also a little nervous. This Summer will consist of many first time experiences. I imagine landing in Dublin by myself this Summer will be much like arriving to college for student orientation. You’re lost, not around any familiar faces and given an abundance of new information all at once. The feeling of being dropped in a completely new environment leaves butterflies in your stomach.

Much like being a first generation college student I am not a seasoned traveler...yet. I know there is going to be a lot to learn. Just as the first week of college consisted of figuring out the logistics of the campus, gauging the environment of the classroom, and assessing the social atmosphere. I will be learning my way to and from my internship in Dublin, picking up on the language of the Irish, and becoming acquainted with the new individuals I meet. That nervousness arriving to college was the feeling of being out of my comfort zone. However now in my Junior year at college I learned that taking that leap out of my comfort zone allowed for truly amazing things to happen.

Saving for Dublin

I’ve been very conscious about saving money for Dublin, as coming up with the means to support this experience was my biggest concern. You could say it makes me more nervous than anything else.. However I again got out of my comfort zone and started a FundMyTravel campaign. (Something I never pictured myself doing). I had much success with FundMyTravel reaching out to family, friends, professors, and even complete strangers. Sharing with them my story and what having this opportunity in Dublin means to me. Using the website was actually quite easy to navigate and really allowed me to be creative in reaching out and interacting with my friends and family.

Raising the funds on FundMyTravel and applying for scholarships is something I had to be fully dedicated to in order for it to be successful. Supporting me most along this journey of preparing to spend my Summer in Dublin has been one of my incredible bosses who also serves as my advisor, mentor, and friend. She wears many hats on campus and is extremely supportive and encourages me to apply for anything and everything that I can apply for. I have been so fortunate to build such strong relationships with the faculty and staff at Wilkes. They have encouraged me to do things I never thought I would be apart of, and really get out of the comfort zone I’m in because that really is where good things happen.

Learn more about crowd sourced funding at

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